Camping pansies

Last weekend we went camping.

A word of advice, if you are only four weeks out from a major surgical procedure that involved just about every aspect of your torso, don’t go camping.

That aside, I love camping (not backpacking). This is probably because Jason is super organized and usually makes sure we have everything we need. I get to sit around and play my ukulele while he sets up and cooks dinner–it’s a perfect world. You can see why I thought it would be an easy weekend, how much work can it really be?

Thing is, it wasn’t the work as much as the lack of comfort and supplies and decent equipment. Oh my aching abdomen.

This brings me to a hard realization: we are not prepared for living in the wilderness.

If we learned anything this weekend it’s that Georgia pretty much hates nature. I hope that girl never gets caught in a natural disaster and has to use her 72 hour pack because she’ll be miserable. Better for her to get washed away in the flood.

A few days before we left we were riding in the car and Georgia says (insert lisp), “Mom, when the world endth Jethus comes are we gonna hafta live in the woodth?”

“Um…I don’t know baby, maybe?”

“Oh great. I HATE the woodth.”

She proved it last weekend.

Part of the problem with camping is the fact that we haven’t camped in four years (pre-Europe). That means we were only able to locate about half our camping stuff and we never did find our tents. Luckily Jason’s folks recently gave us some of their old tents and we packed them without actually checking to see what was inside the bags.

Imagine Jason’s surprise (delight?) when he unearthed his circa 1984 color block hikers tent that he got as as Boy Scout. The poles had to be duct taped to the stakes and once set up it looked like a really bad version of a wind breaker. But hey, it was shelter and Rex isn’t very picky.

We went with our good friends the Morris’ and drove over three hours to Horse Thief Gulch way in the Nevada nowhere. Gorgeous camp sites and crazy good fishing. Plus I had my Shannon there to entertain me and our kids all had friends. That part was really fun (and the new big rectangle marshmallows Jason found, they were a highlight).

The nights, however, were freeze-your-feet-off 40 degree weather for most of us–except Rex. Of course the ancient Boy Scout tent was the only shelter that actually kept anyone warm.

But man, our camping stuff is in seriously poor condition. Half the sleeping bags have sprung zippers, two of our three air mattresses were flat by morning (worst two nights of my life), our lantern didn’t make the move and we couldn’t find any of our Dutch Oven stuff. Honestly, without that duct tape and our super prepared friends we would have been up a gulch.

So this summer we are going to save up for some decent camping equipment…like a tent. Tents are good. And something to sleep on that won’t deflate if a thorn pricks it.

Someday I will grow up and be a real prepper but let’s be honest, I am really bad at this get-your-crap-together stuff. I keep trying to make lists to work on but it seems like so far the only things I’ve successfully added are duct tape and zip ties (and mascara which I picked up in bulk last week). And cold weather clothes. We finally have long underwear and waterproof pants squirreled away just in case.

But my list is wide and deep. Like hats. We don’t have beanies and I keep thinking I’ll make them…but who’s got time for that?

After this weekend hats and socks are top of my list. Give me two months and I will give you warm heads and toasty toes–that’s about how far my budget will get me.